NFL.com writer Matt Harmon released the latest installment of his Next Gen Stats based player rankings. The top-10 interior pass rushers are limited to traditional defensive tackles, as well as 5-technique defensive lineman who line up inside in a 3-4 formation.
The criteria to measure pass rush from these interior lineman was their average yards away from the quarterback at the time of their pass attempt or sack. Surprisingly, the Baltimore Ravens own Lawrence Guy was listed as the eight most disruptive interior lineman in the NFL in 2016:
Several players know for their pocket collapsing ability, including Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Mike Daniels, Calais Campbell and Fletcher Cox, all ranked above Guy. However, the Ravens underrated defensive end was more disruptive than well regarded pass rushers such as Joey Bosa, Jadeveon Clowney, Grady Jarrett, Ndamukong Suh, Damon Harrison and Muhammed Wilkerson, according to this measurement. It is worth noting that most of these players played a greater percentage of snaps than Guy, which hurt their pass rush average, but a top-8 ranking from Guy is impressive nonetheless.
The Ravens as a team finished the 2016 regular season with 31 total sacks, 24th best in the league. Baltimore’s pass rushers started on a strong note, but faded precipitously in the final quarter of the season, producing a paltry three total sacks after Week 13.
Lawrence Guy’s official stat line for 2016 was 28 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, nine quarterback hits, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was also rated as one of the better run stuffing defensive ends in the NFL according to PFF.
Unfortunately, Guy is an impending unrestricted free agent this offseason after playing out a 2-year, $2.3M contract. He will probably be seeking a pay raise this offseason, a short term contract in the range of $2-4M average annual salary would likely keep him in Baltimore.
The Ravens may prioritize the retention of this 26-year old late bloomer for continuity’s sake since the are likely to be priced out of the bidding for nose tackle Brandon Williams this offseason, and Timmy Jernigan, their other starting down lineman will be a free agent next offseason.
Lawrence Guy's surprising pass rush efficiency proves he can be part of the solution to Ravens pass rush woes if they can complement him with more pass rushers and better pass coverage this offseason.